Dublin-New York portal temporarily closed following ‘inappropriate behaviour’ on Irish side

A livestream portal between Dublin and New York has been temporarily closed after “inappropriate behaviour” on the Irish side.

Thousands of people had visited the web-linked art installation, which opened last week and offers a real-time view between Manhattan and the Irish capital, and is described as a “bridge to a united planet” by its creators.

And while there have been a number of wholesome moments such as Irish dancing and even a proposal a number of people have behaved “inappropriately”, Dublin City Council has said.

Videos on social media have show how some on the Irish side have flashed body parts, displayed swear words and even images of the 9/11 attack. Another video shows an image reading “RIP Popsmoke” referring to the murdered American rapper.

A number of “technical solutions” are to be implemented over the next day to allow the installation to continue, the council says.

Images of the portal from the New York side show wholesome placards reading “Hello from New York” and “We love Dublin”.

However, some of the footage in return shows a man in construction clothing waving to a crowd gathered in New York before he turns around to bare all by pulling his trousers down.

Wholesome placards can be seen on the New York side (Dublin City Council)
Wholesome placards can be seen on the New York side (Dublin City Council)

Another woman was escorted away by Irish police after she was seen grinding against the portal.

“Basically she was there for about 20 mins very drunk and was slapping and grinding against the portal before guards stepped in,” wrote Liza Lannane in an Instagram post in which she shared the incident, according to The Times.

The 24/7 stream is situated in north Dublin, facing O’Connell Street, while the American installation is on North Earl Street.

In a statement, a spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “The Portals artwork facilitates a wide range of human interactions and engagements.

“The overwhelming majority of interactions are positive. We have seen families and friends unite, dancing moves being shared as well as new friendships being made. There was even a successful marriage proposal.

“Unfortunately, we have also been witnessing a very small minority of people engaged in inappropriate behaviour, which has been amplified through social media.

“While we cannot control all of these actions, we are implementing some technical solutions to address this and these will go live in the next 24 hours.

“We will continue to monitor the situation over the coming days with our partners in New York to ensure that Portals continue to deliver a positive experience for both cities and the world.”

The spokesperson also added that maintenance work is often carried out at night meaning the livestream may be paused during those hours.

The portal was temporarily closed (Niall Carson/PA Wire)
The portal was temporarily closed (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The Portals Organisation said: “As Portals Organisation, we do not intend to suggest people to interact with Portals in any particular way – our goal is to open a window between far away places and cultures that allows people to interact freely with one another.

“We encourage people to be respectful and from our position as observers, we see that the absolute majority of experiences is on the bright side.”

However, in an earlier statement a spokeswoman for Portals Organisation said that it briefly paused the livestream to “update the software used on the Portal”.

“It’s not broken. Our goal is to provide a ‘window’ between different locations, but the nature of this being a livestream sometimes requires us to pause, for updates, maintenance or to fix technical glitches,” it said in a statement to the PA news agency.

“The Portals are active again since noon today.”